Demand for emergency housing in CK expected to rise this fall

File photo courtesy of © Can Stock Photo Inc. / Bialasiewicz

Municipal officials in Chatham-Kent are preparing for an increased need for shelter spaces in the coming weeks.

Chatham-Kent’s General Manager of Community and Human Services April Rietdyk said she is anticipating an increase in demand for emergency housing services with the colder weather approaching and some financial supports from the federal government coming to an end.

“When CERB government funding comes to an end and people find themselves without income, we anticipate we will see more individuals become homeless,” said Rietdyk.

Municipal officials in Chatham-Kent are working on a more permanent solution for a homeless shelter, but in the meantime, local motels appear to be serving as an adequate arrangement for local emergency housing services.

Shelter services, which had been provided at the John D Bradley Convention Centre in Chatham over the summer months, moved over to local motel rooms on September 8, 2020.

“That transition went very, very smoothly — much smoother than we had anticipated,” said Rietdyk. “Our shelter residents have settled in quite well and we continue to have agencies providing services to get individuals permanently housed.”

Rietdyk said the municipality also continues to have local agencies provide services for shelter residents with the end goal of getting individuals permanent housing.

Anyone experiencing homelessness should call (519) 351-8573 or visit Employment and Social Services’ main office at 435 Grand Avenue West in Chatham between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday to Friday.
After hours, individuals in need of emergency housing can call the Homeless Response Line (HRL) at (519) 354-6628.